According to the 2017-2018 Superintendent’s Annual Report, released Thursday, the state spent $10,034 per student, on average. This amount was based on average daily attendance, which was 439,599 students last year.
This marks the sixth straight year that the average expenditure per student has increased. In 2012, the state was spending $8,920 per student. It increased to $9,209 in 2013, $9,394 in 2014, $9,704 in 2015, and $9,781 last year.
On a district-by-district basis, spending per student fluctuated from a high of over $21,000 per student in the Montgomery County School District to a low of $7,800 in the Lincoln County School District. The Kemper County School District, Amite County School District, Moss Point School District, and Lumberton School District rounded out the top five.
Eighty-six districts spent more than $10,000 per student, and 24 spent more than $12,000 per student.
National figures on what each state is spending tend to vary widely depending on the source. The U.S. Census, which tracks public education finances, showed a national average of $11,762 during the 2016 fiscal year. However, the same data had Mississippi spending just $8,702, almost $1,000 less than what the state reported.
Simultaneous to the increase in per-student-expenditure, the average daily attendance has also decreased each year. While that number was just under 440,000 this year, it was 461,000 in 2012. This represents a drop of more than 4.5 percent. Enrollment numbers decreased again for the 2018-2019 school year, and, presuming education funding is not reduced, the per- student-average will only continue to increase.